The Tao of Reading

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I was struck this morning by a LinkedIn posting by my friend and colleague Eileen McDargh. Here’s what she wrote:

Get in control by reading only what matters. And what matters concerns your business, your future, your soul.

Another friend and colleague of mine, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was famous for saying:

You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.

Motivational Speaker Bill Stainton
Reading is becoming a lost art. What used to be “reading time” has now been taken over by television, Facebook, Words with Friends (BTW, I just played “civet” for 57 points!), and aimless Internet browsing. And this is a shame, because time spent reading great books—books about your business, your future, your soul—is like time spent digging in a vein of pure gold. Biography, history, great fiction—these can all pay rich dividends.

So why aren’t we doing it? Why, instead, do we find ourselves saying things like:

“I’m so behind on my reading.”
“I’ve got a stack of books I’ve been meaning to get to.”
“I’d love to read more if I could just find the time.”

Really, would you ever say, “I’d love to dig in a vein of pure gold if I could just find the time”? Of course not. You’d find the time!

So why not make reading a priority? Instead of saving it until everything else is done (which, by the way, will never happen), make it an appointment. “I can’t play Words with Friends right now—this is my reading time.”

I encourage you (and by “you” I mean “me” as well) to schedule reading time every day. Another friend and colleague, Randy Gage, begins and ends each day by reading something motivational and uplifting. That’s not a bad practice.

Finally, I’d like to invite you to share your insights with other readers. What are the books that have made—or are currently making—a positive difference in your life? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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